This article is the first part of a three-part series on brake compounds.
While brake pads appear to be simple components, they play a critical role in the braking system and have a complex manufacturing process. Brake pads are manufactured using a combination of ingredients; these include Fibres, Functional Fillers, Friction Modifiers, and Resin Binders. Different driving styles and vehicles require different amounts and mixes of each ingredient in order to provide full confidence when braking.
There are three main types of friction material used for the manufacture of brake pads. They are Non Asbestos Organic (NAO), Semi Metallic (Semi-Met), and Low Metallic (Low-Met), and each material is suited to different applications.
This article will discuss NAO formulations, also known as ceramic materials. These are used in Bendix General CT and 4WD/SUV brake pads. Ceramic brake pads have low levels of noise, dust, and rotor wear, while providing a consistent pedal feel.
Bendix NAO brake pads use a combination of synthetic glass fibres, aramid fibres and natural organic fibres as the main reinforcing ingredients. Braking performance for each car make and model is further fine-tuned by adding organic or inorganic modifiers.
The manufacturing process of Bendix NAO brake pads is complex, with heat and pressure applied cyclically up to 10 times during the procedure. Why is heat applied up to 10 times? It allows the gasses to escape from the friction material, if this is not done it could cause issues down the track. Bendix’s production methods dramatically increase the lifespan and durability of NAO brake pads. The ingredients are carefully picked to finetune braking performance for each individual car model.
When braking, a Bendix NAO brake pad applies a coating to the rotor called a transfer film. The pad uses this film for 90% of everyday braking work, to protect the brake disc from wear. The transfer film constantly gets worn away and built up again through general, everyday city or country driving. The Bendix General CT brake pads are highly suited to small to medium sized cars that do daily driver duties. For heavier 4x4s, all wheel drives and SUVs, the Bendix 4WD/SUV brake pads provide the required performance for extreme conditions and on road feel.
For performance cars that are driven hard or, or vehicles tend to tow on a regular basis, brake pads with higher metallic content is needed. This is where Ultimate and Bendix Heavy Duty range of brake pads come in. Semi Metallic and Low Metallic compounds will be covered in the next two articles.
The choice of friction material will impact on your braking experience which is why it’s important to match your driving needs and vehicle with the right brake pad formulation. Visit www.bendix.com.au/content/bendix-brake-selection-guide to select and fit the right Bendix brake pad for your driving style.
Make sure that at your next brake service, ask your mechanic for the right Bendix brake pads to suit your driving style, or Bendix products are available from leading automotive stockist. Click HERE to locate your nearest stockist.